NEWS & ANALYSIS

Tony Yengeni guilty of breaching Companies Act - Tim Harris

DA MP says ANC politician's latest conviction should end his participation in SADRC

New Yengeni conviction should end his inclusion on Defence Review Committee

The DA welcomes the speedy resolution of the criminal case against Tony Yengeni that resulted from charges I laid in November 2010.

Mr Yengeni has been been found guilty of breaching the Companies Act on four counts. Mr Yengeni's second criminal conviction in nine years raises questions about his appropriateness as a political leader. It is also a potential game-changer in the light of his recent appointment to the Defence Review Committee.

On 1 November 2010 I laid a criminal charge against Mr Yengeni at Cape Town Central Police Station after he apparently retained illegal directorships in six companies, in contravention of Section 218 of the Companies Act, No 61 of 1973.

The Act states that any person who has been convicted of fraud or corruption shall be disqualified from being appointed or acting as a director of a company. Section 441(1d) of the Act defines the penalty for such an offence as a "fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment". Cipro records indicated that, despite his corruption conviction, Mr Yengeni was a director of six companies.

Shortly after I laid the charge Mr Yengeni resigned the six directorships and the South African Police upgraded the inquiry into a full investigation assigning the case number: CAS1123/1/2011.

Now that Mr Yengeni has been convicted, I will be following up with the South African Police and the National Prosecuting Authority to find out the status of his additional two company directorships.

Mr Yengeni remains the leader of the ANC's "Political School" and sits on its highest decision-making bodies, the National Working Committee and the National Executive Committee. I call on the ANC to take action against Mr Yengeni, following this second criminal conviction. There have always been those in the ANC who claimed that Mr Yengeni has served his sentence and should be given a second chance. This second conviction has put paid to that defence. 

We will submit parliamentary questions to Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu to find out whether she was aware that Mr Yengeni was under investigation of a further criminal act when she considered his potential appointment to the Defence Review Committee. We will also ask whether Mr Yengeni disclosed that he was under investigation and whether Minister Sisulu will review his appointment now that he has been convicted a second time.

Statement issued by Tim Harris MP, DA Shadow Minister of Trade and Industry, September 4 2011

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